Students are Challenged to Think Like Engineers
The role of the library in the student learning experience has changed. Today's Library Learning Centers (LLCs) are an active, engaging learning environment.
Libraries are no longer a place where students only consume information; they are also a place for students to create and collaborate on projects. Libraries are becoming the hub of learning in schools and it's common to see multiple groups or classes working in the library at the same time.
Thanks to our donors, several grants have been awarded to district libraries that allow them to begin transforming their spaces—a priority of the District. Engineering cubes are an example of a library enhancement and they are being utilized by 3rd-5th graders at all thirteen elementary schools in the district.
What is an engineering cube?
It is a physical cube or box that contains materials for students to utilize for project-based learning that incorporates the areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
How do students benefit from engineering cubes?
When students use engineering cubes they are challenged to think like NASA engineers, designing, building and launching paper rockets in order to reach numerous targets. They evaluate and redesign their rockets as needed to meet the challenge.
In another lesson, featured in this video, students design, build and test towers for wind resistance.
Having the engineering cubes readily available allows students to construct solutions and teachers can invest time in collaborating with students. Students enjoy the challenge of designing solutions to a problem and feel like they have created something that serves a purpose.
Research shows that students learn more deeply when they engage in activities that require applying classroom-gathered knowledge to real problems. A student’s interest in one experiment could turn into a curiosity that leads to future engagement and learning in that subject matter.
Working on engineering cube projects incorporates critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration which are integral to the student learning experience and are essential skills in the 21st century learning environment.